Every year, thousands of pedestrians die in accidents with motor vehicles. The factors contributing to these fatalities include the speed of the vehicle, the vehicle type, and the pedestrian’s age. Fatality risk per collision is highest among children and the elderly. Given the prevalence of speeding and the increase of distracted driving from mobile device use, being a pedestrian is becoming increasingly deadly. Areas where these fatalities occur include:
- Crosswalks. Painted lines and light signals won’t protect the pedestrian from a car running a red light or a distracted driver making a right turn. Sometimes the crosswalk is poorly located such as on a curve, on a dip in the road where the slope hides the painted lines, or where foliage covers the pedestrian crosswalk sign.
- Pedestrians on the shoulder of the road. Many areas lack extensive sidewalks, which force pedestrians to walk on the shoulder of the road. Often the shoulders are no more than a foot wide. Some roads completely lack shoulders. This risk is compounded by speeding and/or distracted motorists. After the sun sets, the fatality risk increases because of reduced lighting and the presence of intoxicated drivers on the road.
- Parking lots. Pedestrian fatalities are lower in parking lots because of the reduced speeds. However, backup accidents often involve children whose small size makes them less visible, and the elderly with mobility problems. The frailty of both of these age groups increases their risk of death.
- School zones. Too many motorists pay little heed to the reduced speed requirement in school zones while school is in session. Children, especially in groups, can unexpectedly dart into the road.
- Bus stops. Most bus stops lack the signage of school zones. However, whenever you see large groups of children next to the road, slow down. Never pass a school bus when its lights are flashing.
- Pedestrians crossing outside of crosswalks. Crosswalks aren’t always available for pedestrian use. A common example of this is a mailbox located on the side of the road opposite a residential home.
Motorists owe a duty of care not to harm pedestrians. Failure to exercise this duty of care forms the basis of a wrongful death case. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in a pedestrian accident, our compassionate lawyers will explain your legal options and guide you through the legal process. Contact us at Hogan Injury.